Valiant Entertainment 2018
Written by Jody Houser
Illustrated by MJ Kim
Coloured by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
Faith Herbert was just your average super-fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy when she discovered she had superpowers of her very own-- the incredible power of flight! She moved to Los Angeles to try her hand at the hero gig as the high flying Zephyr, where she amassed a fan following along with a rogues gallery of villainous evildoers. She was living her dream, until a group of her most heinous foes framed her for murder, and turned the public against her. Recently returning from Hawaii, Faith finds herself hiding in plain sight under the guise of her alter ego, Summer Smith, waiting for the day when she can take to the skies once again…
As much as Faith is a fan favourite character she seems to have a hard time in both life and keeping an ongoing series. Still that we continue to get these arcs is okay by me it is a nice route to take and is always a good gauge on the mind of the market. Jody is amazing and I believe I say that a lot about her but I really enjoy that she is able to write such strong compelling characters. She does a marvellous job here too and Faith has never seemed more human to me than she does here so I really like that aspect.
The way that this is structured is excellent and Paige is a welcome character to see help Faith through her troubles, if she’ll let her. The opening really is strong and it’s nice to see that the ever cheerful, yes Rose Nyland of the Superhero set, show that she can be frustrated, angry and humbled as well. It is kind of heart warming and a reality check at the same time and this kind of “realness” is something I think we need to see more of as it’s handled with class.
The way the rest of the story flows is just as strong and fun to see. The ongoing evolution of her as a person and seeing the characterisation feel as natural to her as the air we breathe isn’t groundbreaking but it really is refreshing to see. She is in what we like to call a funk and it happens when heroes are set up to take a fall and aren’t well versed enough in figuring out how to reverse it. So I would love to see take night classes that are out of her area’s of knowledge and comic books aren’t really textbooks no matter how much we want them to be.
The interiors here, and throughout all Valiant books, is what the standard in comics should be. The crisp, clean lines and the way they are manipulated through their varying weights to create the subtle and bold moments are spectacularly well done. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows us a great eye for storytelling. The way that backgrounds are utilised and that we see the same attention to detail that everything else has just makes them a much stronger part of the story and storytelling process. Also the creativity and imagination on display is fun, it’s taken seriously but it’s FUN! I would be remiss not to mention the amazing colouring job done here too it’s so nice and has this real world feel about it that you almost overlook the fact that it’s that good.
The fact that there is quite a bit of set-up that leads into the next issue doesn’t upset me in the slightest. This feels like it’s Faith’s book and this is just another chapter in it so we need to check in see what’s she is going through and pick things up from there. Though the one who comes to her is unexpected, delightful and the potential for this character is off the charts. Now I'm already ready for Doctor Mirage I mean talk about opposite end of the spectrum.
Smartly written, sassy even full of the woe is me this is still a positive message book that just being on shelves makes the world a better place!